AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

Our AnandTech Storage Bench tests are traces (recordings) of real-world IO patterns that are replayed onto the drives under test. The Destroyer is the longest and most difficult phase of our consumer SSD test suite. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

ATSB The Destroyer
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The WD Black SN850 starts off with very impressive performance on The Destroyer: only 7.5% slower overall than the Optane 905P and almost twice the overall performance of the Samsung 980 PRO, which is seriously underperforming on this test. The SN850 has great latency scores all around, including for 99th percentile latencies. The SN850 isn't as energy-efficient as Western Digital's PCIe 3.0 SSDs, but is substantially better than the 980 PRO or the Phison E16-based Silicon Power US70.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

The ATSB Heavy test is much shorter overall than The Destroyer, but is still fairly write-intensive. We run this test twice: first on a mostly-empty drive, and again on a completely full drive to show the worst-case performance.

ATSB Heavy
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

On the Heavy test, the WD Black SN850 again comes in second place for overall performance, behind the Optane 905P. Its lead over the other PCIe 4.0 drives is smaller and the 980 PRO surpasses it in some of the latency metrics, but overall the differences between the SN850 and the 980 PRO would seldom be noticeable to the end-user during this kind of heavy workload. The SN850 again has a clear energy efficiency lead over the other PCIe 4.0 drives.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light

The ATSB Light test represents ordinary everyday usage that doesn't put much strain on a SSD. Low queue depths, short bursts of IO and a short overall test duration mean this should be easy for any SSD. But running it a second time on a full drive shows how even storage-light workloads can be affected by SSD performance degradation.

ATSB Light
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The WD Black SN850 is tied for first place when the Light test is run on an empty drive, but its full-drive performance is better than any of the other drives except the Optane SSD. The latency scores are all top-notch, though the 99th percentile read latency is a bit higher than the other PCIe 4.0 SSDs. As with the other ATSB tests, the SN850 uses less energy than the other PCIe 4.0 drives, but isn't as efficient as some of the good PCIe 3.0 SSDs.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmarks

The PCMark 10 Storage benchmarks are IO trace based tests similar to our own ATSB tests. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

PCMark 10 Storage Traces
Full System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Quick System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Data Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency

The WD Black SN850 has a clear lead over other flash-based SSDs in all three PCMark 10 Storage tests. It has a larger SLC cache than most 1TB drives, and it's just large enough to contain all the writes from these tests. The SN850 beats even the higher-capacity drives because its cache is faster than most in addition to being large. The SN850 comes closest to matching the Optane SSD's performance on the Data Drive test that focuses relatively more on sequential IO, where the SN850 offers twice the throughput of the Optane 905P.

The Western Digital WD Black SN850 Review Synthetic Tests: Basic IO Patterns
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  • Unashamed_unoriginal_username_x86 - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Answer is no but he's mentioned it earlier in the comment section
    "As I mentioned in the article, my first Phison E18 drive arrived yesterday and I don't have complete results yet. But the first batch of results is in Bench:"
    https://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/2732?vs=27...
    Reply
  • James5mith - Saturday, March 20, 2021 - link

    Nah, I'm just a big fan. Like others here though, I wish I also had a 905p for my OS drive due to the sheer performance. But for a bulk data drive, the Sabrent 4 Plus has been awesome.

    Everytime though these PCIe 4.0 drives come out though, nothing can beat the performance of the 905p unless you are talking raw sequential numbers.
    Reply
  • Tomatotech - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Nice review! It’s amazing to see how fast SSDs are developing - I well remember the pain of running everything off HDDs. What’s even more impressive is there seems to be no natural limit in sight for SSD speeds - it feels like peak speeds are doubling around every 18 months. Reply
  • Makaveli - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Peak Sequential speeds are doubling, however there are still other area's to improve on. Reply
  • cx1983 - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    I failed to see why did you put the Optane 905P drive in the mix... It's a $2,500 enterprise drive in the middle of ~$200 costumer drives. It's like throwing in a Xeon Scalable/Epyc when benchmarking a Core i7/Ryzen 7. All it does is distort the graphs, making it harder to see how the drives fare against each other.
    It would only make sense if you were writing an article comparing costumer grade hardware vs enterprise grade hardware.
    Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    The Optane 905P is technically a consumer/enthusiast drive. The enterprise version is the P4800X, which doesn't have RGB LEDs. I included the 905P because it is somewhat relevant when discussing the fastest consumer drives that money can buy, but I left out the power consumption data because that would have distorted all of those graphs. Reply
  • Slash3 - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Power Consumption: Yes Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Friday, March 19, 2021 - link

    Pretty much. On the old test suite, I measured it as 7.3W idle, 8.5W for QD1 random read, up to 17.1W for sequential writes (2.2GiB/s). I'm really curious to see if second-gen 3DXP in the P5800X improves on that. Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Friday, March 19, 2021 - link

    Unlimited... POWER! Reply
  • MDD1963 - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    About 4 years ago, it took X99 and three 950 Pros in RAID 0 to allow 1M IOPS...; this is quite impressive! Reply

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